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Trump Considering Swamp-Dwelling Friend of McCain and Clinton to Head FBI

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Trump White House Tug Of War

President Donald Trump is considering naming former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman as the new director of the FBI, counter to his promises of “draining the swamp.”

Trump interviewed four candidates for the position on Wednesday, among them was Lieberman, who war-hungry Arizona Senator John McCain is gleefully excited over.

“Joe Lieberman has more experience than all of my Dem. colleagues combined. So screw them,” McCain told PBS NewsHour when asked about some Democrats expressing concerns over the former senator. “And you can quote me,” he added.

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When asked by reporters if Lieberman was a top candidate for the position, Trump responded that “he is.”

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Lieberman ran as Al Gore’s vice presidential candidate in 2000, but endorsed McCain for president in 2008 when he defected to the Republican Party.

During his career, the former Connecticut senator has enjoyed a seemingly very close friendship with both McCain and Hillary Clinton.

In the collection of Clinton emails which are searchable on WikiLeaks, top Clinton aide Huma Abedin is seen emailing the former Secretary of State to arrange a meeting between the trio. “Joe lieberman wants to talk to you about his recent trip to iraq and afghanistan with mccain,” Abedin emailed Clinton.

“He wants to come see me w McCain, Graham and Collins about Af’stan. Pls put on list to discuss,” Clinton responded.

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It isn’t difficult to see why this trio work together so well — in 2002, Lieberman joined an interventionist group of DC-based neoconservatives called the ‘Committee for the Liberation of Iraq.’ The extremely influential and effective group, which included the hawkish Bill Kristol, was founded with the goal of overthrowing Saddam Hussein.

The mission statement of the group was to “promote regional peace, political freedom, and international security by replacing the Saddam Hussein regime with a democratic government that respects the rights of the Iraqi people and ceases to threaten the community of nations. … The Committee for the Liberation of Iraq will engage in educational and advocacy efforts to mobilize U.S. and international support for policies aimed at ending the aggression of Saddam Hussein and freeing the Iraqi people from tyranny.”

In 2004, Lieberman revived the “Committee on the Present Danger,” a pro-interventionist and very neoconservative group which was originally founded during the Cold War. Their new goal to stifle dissent against the war in Iraq and promote war in Iran.

During his time with the group, Lieberman argued that pulling troops out of Iraq would be “a victory for Iran and Al Qaeda,” in a 2007 speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

While the group consistently lobbied to combat Islamic terrorism, their hawkish tendencies also ran counter to much of Trump’s campaign rhetoric and promises about not supporting interventionist policies and focusing on “America first.”

In 2010, Liberman set his sights on WikiLeaks, intimidating Amazon to remove the controversial publisher from their cloud servers. In an announcement about them being removed from the platform Lieberman said, “the decision to cut off Wikileaks now is the right decision and should set the standard for other companies Wikileaks is using to distribute its illegally seized material.” It remains unclear, even to this day, whether or not the organization has broken any laws at all.

“This certainly implicates First Amendment rights to the extent that web hosts may, based on direct or informal pressure, limit the materials the American public has a First Amendment right to access,” senior staff attorney of the Electronic Frontier Foundation Kevin Bankston told Talking Points Memo at the time.

Lieberman didn’t stop there though, in a move that shocked the press, he also called for the New York Times to be investigated for publishing material from WikiLeaks that helped to form more public criticism of the decision to go to war.

“I certainly believe that WikiLeaks has violated the Espionage Act, but then what about the news organizations — including The Times — that accepted it and distributed it?” Lieberman said in an appearance on Fox News. “To me, The New York Times has committed at least an act of bad citizenship, and whether they have committed a crime, I think that bears a very intensive inquiry by the Justice Department.”

Also interviewed at the White House on Wednesday for the now-vacant post were former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating, former FBI official Richard McFeely and the current acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

Whichever candidate Trump chooses will have to be confirmed by the senate, he has promised that whoever he picks will be “outstanding.”

Congress

He Found His Spine: Vulnerable Senator Cory Gardner Vows to Support Trump’s SCOTUS Nominee

Gardner found his backbone.

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Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) has often been at odds with the Trump movement, being a favorite of the GOP establishment’s Senate Leadership Fund.

This is why his recent declaration that he will be supporting President Donald Trump’s choice to succeed the deceased Ruth Bader Ginsburg is so surprising. He made the announcement in a Twitter post on Monday.

“When a President exercises constitutional authority to nominate a judge for the Supreme Court vacancy, the Senate must decide how to best fulfill its constitutional duty of advice and consent,” Gardner said in his official statement.

“I have and will continue to support judicial nominees who will protect the Constitution, not legislate from the bench, and uphold the law. Should a qualified nominee who meets this criteria be put forward, I will vote to confirm,” he added.

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The official statement can be seen here:

The president’s pick for the Supreme Court will certainly fit Gardner’s criteria. Trump has announced that he will be appointing a woman to the bench.

One top contender – Amy Comey Barrett – recently made a trip to the White House, as Big League Politics has reported:

Judge Amy Coney Barrett visited the White House on Monday, as President Donald Trump zeroes in on selecting a nominee to fill the vacant seat on the US Supreme Court.

Barrett is reportedly a front-runner for the judicial nomination. She’s a generally conservative judge, with a staunch pro-life record. Her track record on immigration law issues is generally conservative.

Barrett currently serves as a circuit judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has advised President Trump that she is his preferred candidate for the seat on the court.

President Trump had confirmed that he plans to nominate a woman to fill the seat of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who died of complications from pancreatic cancer on Friday.

Democrats have launched a full-fledged fit urging President Trump to give them a break and decline to nominate a conservative justice, but they won’t be so lucky. Republican Senators and President Trump have rallied around the notion of appointing a justice before the November election, fulfilling their constitutional responsibilities.

Trump confirmed that he would be revealing the identity of his judicial nominee on Friday or Saturday, taking a few extra days to vet candidates. Florida Judge Barbara Lagoa is reportedly another candidate being considered for the nomination.

It’ll be inherently harder for incensed, power-thirsty Democrats to attack a female judicial candidate. Maybe they’ll alienate swing female voters through waging a scorched earth campaign to block the confirmation of Barrett, who is a mother of seven.

The Republicans have a great opportunity to score a major political victory and really stick it to the extreme Left with this expedited SCOTUS confirmation. The fact that a moderate like Gardner is on board is a great sign that the confirmation is likely to occur before November’s election.

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